109 applications were submitted in response to the open call for the Generator Malta community art programme. This year’s open call focused on art and activism concerning the community contexts of waterbodies in Poznań. The winning projects will be presented during the 30th Malta Festival Poznań.
We wish to thank all the applicants who were inspired by the concept of Water is You. Due to the relevance and diversity of the submitted ideas and forms, the jury decided to choose as many as eight projects, which will be realised under the Generator Malta section of Malta Festival Poznań.
Listed below are the winning projects with a short explanation of why the given project was selected.
1. "Rusalka's Tales" by Sara Alavi. For a convincing description of how myth merges with reality, tales with materiality, words with clay; of how this connection is ephemeral, how it circulates, haunts us, or arrives uninvited, and how, at times, it emerges from water. Human indifference rises to the surface of both the Rusałka Lake in Poznań (in the form of the matzevot used there by the Nazis as construction material) and of the rough waters of the Mediterranean See (in the form of life jackets and the bodies od refugees). Working at the interface of art and activism, Alavi asks which form of aesthetics can draw our attention to the most important questions: to death and how it can be expressed in words.
2. "Studnia" by Pamela Bożek. For an artistic investigation aiming to publicise the usually concealed delivery chains. For showing how complicated and chaotic activities and cash flows stand behind even the most meticulously planned budgets, schedules, public communications, advertisements, and billboards. It is important to build a well and it is important to know how to pay attention to those who build wells fairly. Drinking water is a witness of how aid is provided to those in need.
3. "Dzikie strumienie" by Mateusz Kowalczyk. For drawing attention to life around and in Poznań’s streams: Junikowski Stream, Różany Potok and Rów Złotnicki, littered and forgotten (by humankind). For a meeting along their course in a community-made kayak and sharing the experience online. The waterways in Poznań record the life of local neighbourhoods and their residents’ consumer habits, whilst creating a habitat for many nonhuman species.
4. "Distant Horizons" by Pascal Marquilly and Gustavo Carvalho. For showing that climate disaster does not happen overnight, that it is neither a climax nor a watershed. Human living conditions on Earth change slowly, like tides or sea waves, which gradually wash away the foundations of human-made structures (as symbolised by chairs standing on a seashore). The project involves people living in flooded cities and on flooded islands, whilst showing the consequences of human nonresponse. Marquilly suggests that inactivity is an activity.
5. "Prywatna Mapa Jezior Wielkopolski" by Daria Mielcarzewicz. For a long-term study of lakes in Wielkopolska, including direct experience, concern about their deterioration and a private map which all of us can use. The waterbodies of Wielkopolska are more and more exposed to climate change caused by humans. Mielcarzewicz marks this with plaques reading ‘This lake will dry up too.’
6. "Gęsia skórka" by Małgorzata Myślińska (with Swojskie Tropiki). For transferring (with humour) a reflection on geopolitical affiliation and collective identity onto o corporeal level of sensing temperature and water. The local lakes tell a story of capitalistic desires for tropical heat (and our cold-water complex), as well as environmental recreation choices (which exclude high-emission flights)
7. "Hydronarracje" by Kolektyw badawczo-artystyczny Przepływ. For artistic research aiming to see the invisible: the underground water infrastructure. How is water supply and sanitation treated by public services and individuals. Who owns water? Who or what does it serve? Who controls its flow? Water embraces a dual reality: the connections between the public and the privatised, and between the organic and the inorganic.
8. "Requiem dla Warty" by Poznańska Orkiestra Improwizowana. For a tragicomic approach to a matter of importance for all Poznanians: the conditions of rivers in our city. The orchestra will play a requiem for the drying up Warta River. A requiem is a mass for the dead ordered by members of a church to alleviate the suffering of a soul in purgatory. When Warta dries up, developers will raise gated residential estates which will probably become Poznań’s showpiece, just like the Ferris wheel in the city of Pripiat near Chernobyl. Will the requiem for Warta be our own mass for the dead?